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The Startup Accelerator Behind Airbnb, Reddit Is Investing to Shut Down Factory Farms

Y Combinator, the startup accelerator company behind hit tech companies like Airbnb, Reddit, Dropbox, and Instacart, is looking to invest in clean meat startups that are set to take on the meat industry.

The company’s purpose is to help startups in the early stages and provide funding, business tools, and networking opportunities to help them succeed. According to VegNews, Y Combinator has recently partnered with The Good Food Institute to assist companies working on creating alternatives to traditional animal products, listing “cellular agriculture and clean meat as one of its top funding priorities.

Gustaf Alstromer, a partner at Y Combinator, told Fast Company in an interview:
We actually believe that clean meat could replace nearly all animal meat at some point. We think that if it works, [clean meat] will revolutionize the entire meat industry, and we think that it will probably be entrepreneurs and startups that build the companies that produce that meat.
This past summer, Y Combinator began working with 132 new startups, including Seattle Food Tech, which is known for creating a vegan chicken nugget, Spero Foods, which makes plant-based cheese and eggs, Mylk Guys, a vegan grocery delivery startup, and Cytera CellWorks, which works on helping labs automate cell cultures for clean meat.

Investing in vegan alternatives and clean meat is a wise business move considering how many people are ditching animal products. But it’s not just accelerators who are investing in a slaughter-free future; the meat industry itself is also taking notice.

In 2016, Tyson Ventures made an undisclosed investment in plant-based protein company Beyond Meat. Tyson CEO Tom Hayes remarked, “Plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction.

Just last month, Tyson Foods also invested in clean meat company Memphis Meats. This was the second time a major meat producer backed the company. The first was Cargill, which made history last year with its landmark investment. Memphis Meats is known for creating real beef burgers without cows and the world’s first chicken and duck meat without animal slaughter.

The meat industry can no longer ignore the wave of people ditching animal products in favor of a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate vegan diet. The research firm Global Data reports that veganism in America has increased by 600 percent since 2014, and Allied Market Research predicts that the meat substitute market will grow 8.4 percent over the next three years, potentially reaching $5.2 billion globally by 2020.

More people enjoying vegan food is great news for the billions of animals who suffer at factory farms. Cows, pigs, chickens, and fish raised and killed for food are subjected to unthinkable cruelties: tiny, filthy cages; horrific mutilations; and violent slaughter.

Sounds terrible, right? See for yourself.


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